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Film and the Politics of Post-memory in Chile’s No and Korea’s The Attorney

Park Jungwon 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

‘Post-memory’ is the act of remembering traumatic events in history by subsequent generations who have not had direct experiences or relations with them. For this reason, the narratives of ‘post-memory’ are considered as re-interpretations of the past deeply influenced by current perspectives and concerns. The Chilean film NO goes back to the Referendum of 1988 in order to examine the “NO campaign” which was opposed to another eight years of continuation of the Pinochet regime. Although this campaign contributed significantly to the Chilean democratization, the filmmaker does not just celebrate it: rather he attempts to cast a critical reflection on its strategies that eventually turned democracy into a “commodity” by deploying commercial language and marketing tools for characterizing and describing it. On the other hand, the Korean movie The Attorney sheds light on the story of an attorney who, during the military regime in the 1980’s, became a human rights lawyer when he tried to advocate for university students accused of violating national security law. This film reconstitutes the meaning of democracy built upon the logic of “common-sense” that privileges freedom and fundamental human rights over Statism. Despite the different historical contexts between Chile and South Korea, these two movies retell the history of a dictatorship that ended a couple of decades ago. In doing so, they raise questions about history, memory and democracy in order to deepen the understanding of current social and political circumstances while placing an emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of intellectuals during the transition to democracy and democratic consolidation.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.